‘Bondslaves and Pagans shall our Statesmen be’: Interracial Marriage and Transgression in Othello

Imed Sassi

Abstract


The representation of race, ethnicity and cultural difference has become a focal point in recent Shakespearean and early modern scholarship.  Nevertheless, the issue of interracial marriage has not yet been given its due even though it unravels the most intimate and significant encounter with otherness, not only for the couple involved, but also with reference to their society at large. This essay explores the dynamics and politics of interracial marriage in Othello (1604). My main argument is that the Moor’s interracial marriage potentially guarantees a better integration in Venice for an outsider whose almost sole attachment to, and toleration in, that society is predicated on his usefulness to it.


Keywords


Interracial marriage, Moor, Othello, Shakespeare, early modern, race.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18533/journal.v9i5.1903

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